Welcome to CAMRA West Kent

This website is for CAMRA members that have an interest in the West Kent Branch. The branch area includes the towns of Edenbridge, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Westerham.



The easiest way to help CAMRA West Kent?

The number 1, easiest, but most important thing that CAMRA members can do to help any branch is to enter pub and beer scores via WhatPub. If you enter scores for pubs that you try they will get fed back to the relevant branch, and will be used for deciding which pubs go in the Good Beer Guide. The menu on the left contains a guide to Beer Scoring, or follow the WhatPub link above to go direct.


News

The Bull Inn, Brenchley – planning application submitted for reconfiguration into a mixed-use holiday let and A4 use. Application No. 16/503337/LBC refers if you wish to object via the TWBC planning portal.

http://pa.midkent.gov.uk/online-applications/

The Kings Head, Five Oak Green – planning application submitted for demolition and erection of dwellings. Application No. 16/503082/FULL refers if you wish to object via the TWBC planning portal.

The Red Lion at Snargate, well outside our branch but a favourite of Kent drinkers. The sad news is that Doris Jemson, venerable landlady of the pub passed away on Sunday morning (24th). The pub is closed for the time being.

The Oak Tree, Sevenoaks is closing and may be under threat

The Crystal Palace, Tunbridge Wells is closed and boarded up

 

The Pantiles Tap has been voted West Kent CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year (COTY).

Keith Ennis (WKCAMRA cider boffin, click his name for his twitter account) presenting the certificate

tap


CAMRA West Kent Facebook

Martin Yardley & West Kent CAMRA members.
My Name is Joe, I am the currrent manager at The Opera House.

Firstly could I take this chance to sincerely apologise for your experience last Saturday. I will be investigating the actions of the door team on the evening in question. It's completely unacceptable that you were made to feel so unwelcome within moments of entering the premises.

I fully accept that during the Opera House's 20 years as a Wetherspoons there have been periods of time where standards have been some what uninspiring at best, So I can fully understand that West Kent CAMRA can have an indifferent opinion of our pub.

However, I took over the premises 3 years ago, in this time we have put an extroardinary amount of work into improving all aspects of the business. We have a strong,stable & experienced team of managers that have been with me over those 3 years and will continue to be into the future. A lack of stability and frequent change of manager have in the past had a negative impact on the pub. I honestly feel that the pub has drastically changed for the better over those 3 years.

I am very passionate about Real Ale and Cider and I really have worked hard over the last few years to change how we do things here at The Opera House, I honestly have full confidence in the range and quality of the real ale and cider we offer here. And more importantly I think the Cellar is kept the best it ever has been. All of this creates, what I think is a great pint, and also creates consistency in the beer.

I think it's important to also understand that Tunbridge Wells has one of the largest night time economys in West Kent. With our position in town and our competitive pricing, this can attract a some what young and lively crowd during weekend evenings, which can be very off putting for some. However it is also worth mentioning that the other 95% of the time we are open, the pub clientele is very different, we are selling more food and real ale than we ever have in the last 20 years. I can completely acknowledge how coming in at a certain time of the week could create a perhaps inaccurate representation of what we are about. All I ask is that you can be open minded enough to perhaps consider, that what I am saying is true, we have changed, and we are a great pub.

Most of all I want to say thank you for highlighting where we need to improve. It's you ladies and gentleman that really know what a great pub is, so I would be stupid not to listen.

Martin Yardley again, I am very sorry for what happened when you did decide to give us a chance. And to anybody else who has had a negative experience in the past. Martin Yardley if you do decide to give us another go then the first one is on me.

Whatever you decide, we will continue to support Real Ale & Cider and everything West Kent CAMRA does. And continue with our efforts to always be improving.

Any other feedback is always appreciated, if anybody would like to talk to me in person regarding any matter, then feel free to drop in or give me a call anytime on 01892 511770
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I wasn't going to post this but following discussions with friends tonight I would like to report my experience with The Opera House Tunbridge Wells. Last Saturday after seeing a gig at tge Assembly Hall myself and 2 friends went for a drink at the Opera House it was also my birthday. None of us had much to drink and all of us are now in our 50's. My mate made a comment about us not having to have our ID checked for our age, unlike most of the punters, I mustt have made a flippant remark and the bouncer decided to "have a go" at me saying I was drunk (I'd only had 2 pints) etc etc, needless to say after fishing my other mate out of the pub we all went to Fuggles where we were all welcome. I have had bad reports about the Opera House and went there with an open mind needless to say my prejudices were confirmed and I won't be going back. By the way I have always found the Humphery Bean in Tonbridge to be an excellent pub as are most of Wetherspoons pubs its a shame that the Opera House in Tunbridge Wells lets the side down. ... See MoreSee Less

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Next Branch Socials / Business Meetings

May

  • 9th Sevenoaks Pub Crawl starting at the Chequers, 71 High Street, 8pm
  • 18th – CAMRA Revitalisation Project Meeting, 7.30pm at Dartford Working Men’s Club. Please register via the CAMRA website
  • 19th Social visit to the Toad Rock Retreat, 1 Upper Street, Rusthall, 8pm
  • 25th – Social visit to the Pantiles Tap, Tunbridge Wells to present their West Kent CAMRA Cider Pub of the Year 2016 award. The Tap has about 9 ciders on offer all the time, one for every taste, so this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for cider lovers. Beer lovers will be well provided for too, cask and craft keg and bottled beer in abundance!!
  • 28th Social visit to the Wheatsheaf beer festival, Mount Pleasant, Crowborough, 1pm

June

  • 9th Pub Crawl of Tunbridge Wells Pantiles starting at the Ragged Trousers, 44 The Pantiles, 8pm
  • 18th visit by 297 bus to the Gun & Spitroast, Horsmonden for lunch followed by presentation of runner-up PotY award to the Halfway House, Brenchley
  • 27th Branch Business Meeting 8pm at the Forester’s Arms, 51 Quarry Hill Road, Tonbridge. Please note this pub is under new, experienced management and has been refurbished so it should be well worth a visit

Branch Diary

Events, Beer Festivals, etc.

  • 19th – 22nd May – Old Fire Station, Castle Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BH Cider Festival, 20+ ciders from Kent, Sussex, Somerset Herefordshire & London. This will coincide with the Tonbridge Food Festival 20-22nd May.  https://www.marketsquaregroup.co.uk/core/event-lite?id=198
  • 19th May – Sennockian, 139-141 High Street, Sevenoaks, TN13 1UX, Meet the Brewer with Rockin Robin brewery, 7pm. Talk about brewing ingredients, history, etc. 4 of their beers on tap, raffle to support CLIC Sargent charity to win polo shirts, branded glasses and tickets to the RR brewery bash on the 9th July (tickets usually £30). Raffle tickets at the bar from w/c 25/4/16
  • 21st May – Bromley CAMRA 3rd Marvellous May Cider and Perry Festival, HG Wells Centre, St Mark’s Road, Bromley, BR2 9HG, 2 mins walk from Bromley South station, 11-11. Over 20 real ciders & perrys, food, real ale bar, raffle, £1 entry to CAMRA members, £2 otherwise
  • 27th – 30th May – Halfway House, Brenchley Beer Festival, 60-70 mostly Kent/Sussex but also national breweries and ciders. 2 exclusive beers from Tonbridge – IPA is normally keg only but here it will be in cask and a special single hop brew using the new British hop Endeavour, grown only a mile or so from the pub
  • 28th May – Royal Oak, Crockham Hill Mini Beer & Music Festival from 3pm
  • 28th – 30th May – Wheatsheaf, Crowborough Beer Festival
  • 11th June – Maidstone Mencap Fete at Mote Park, Maidstone with real ale bar run by MMK CAMRA Branch
  • 17th 18th June – CAMRA Kent & East Sussex Railway Beer Festival, Tenterden www.camra-afrm.org.uk
  • 22nd – 25th June – Flowerpot, Maidstone Beer Festival

Kent CAMRA Website goes live

Kent CAMRA has launched it own website, rhis gives extra info on the Kent area and includes information on cider and brewery’s. It also provides links to all the local CAMRA websites

http://www.kentcamra.org.uk/

New CAMRA members site launched

LINK TO SITE INFO


Protecting your local pub by nominating them as Assets of Community Value

Through the Localism Act, the Government has introduced new powers for communities in England to nominate valued facilities such as pubs as “assets of community value”. Where pubs are listed this enables communities to “stop the clock” for up to six months if they’re put up for sale to consider options for saving the pub. With 18 pubs closing every week we need CAMRA members and branches to get involved in listing pubs before more of them are lost. So far two pubs in the branch have received this protection (both called the Royal Oak, one in Tunbridge Wells, one in Pembury). For a more in depth explanation of the what, why, and where please follow this LINK, which also contains an information leaflet.